Writer: Sean Mankiewicz / Artists: Niko Walter, Mat Lopes / Image
Gasolina #2 shows up right on time for the Halloween season with the realest crime/action/horror book on the shelves! Sean Mackiewicz and Nico Walter are an adept writer/artist team.
Issue #2 balances the tone of a horror movie with the high stakes of life in the global South. We pick up with our favorite badass black & brown marital tag team Mal and Randy chasing down the gang that kidnapped Mal’s nephew. The plot literally thickens as the La Querida gang’s supernatural side hustle spreads across Veracruz, Mexico.
The issue opens with a tense search of Mal’s brother’s home. Super creepy and Nico Walter’s art gives these panels the exact feel of the first Resident Evil. I could almost hear the sound of slow hinges and creaking floorboards.
There is so much atmosphere in the presentation of this world, from the expanse of verdant farmland to the tight shadowy corners of a factory. Gasolina just bleeds a redefined modern gothic aesthetic. Writer Sean Mankiewicz focuses issue #2 on the fallout of La Querida’s cover being blown. ‘The cholo with the two crosses’ is out looking to offer more bodies to the goddess of death to keep things quiet. He steps out of bounds when he starts with hunting Mal’s family.
The book takes a turn here to flesh out the world and raise the stakes. It misses the mark just a bit, particularly with the final montage. It may make sense to the creators, but it’s hard as a reader to make the connection between what’s being shown and what is going to unfold in the narrative later. While unclear just a little, it is exciting to know just how far ahead of us this story is laid out.
Gasolina is shaping up to be a gem in its genre if you can pin it to just one genre. The grimy atmosphere, clean artwork, and keen writing keep me coming back for more despite some muddled storytelling this go-round.
Reading Gasolina? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.